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The Best Sunhats for Protection and Style in the Outdoors

Protect your face in style with these performance-driven hats and caps.

best looking sun hats

Spring and summer are the seasons of camping, hiking, beach days, river trips and days on the boat. What does each of these activities have in common? Sun exposure.

To prevent all those nasty solar effects, we recommend recreating responsibly by investing in a quality sunhat, which will keep the sun's rays off your face and provide just the right amount of cooling and protection. If you spend time outdoors, you'll want a hat that can stand up to activity, dirt and grime while also maintaining your personal style.

What to Look for in a Sunhat

Just as shirts, shoes and shorts can differ wildly, sunhats can vary from lakeside loungers to lightweight caps made for outdoor training. Popular materials in sunhats include polyester, nylon, cotton, straw and canvas.

Picking your sunhat is based very much on the intended activity: If you're going to be spending a day on the boat, an adjustable chin cord is indispensable so that your hat doesn't go flying into the water. Heading from a day at the beach to the bar? A straw fedora is classic, cool and transitions beautifully from day to night. If you're going to be hiking and camping, pick a hat with a high UPF rating, as well as breathable materials.

Speaking of: What is the UPF rating, exactly? Well, UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor — the amount of protection from UVA and UVB rays that an item (in this case, a hat) provides.

UPF protection is great, but it's not required for a sunhat to be effective; you'll want to consider how much coverage the hat itself provides, as well. For days when you'll be indoors and out and just want to keep the sun out of your eyes, a non-UPF option is just fine. If you're going to be outside for more than a couple of hours and you're concerned with sun exposure, go for a sunhat with a high UPF rating.

Below, we've rounded up the best sunhats for whatever the season of sun throws your way.

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Best Overall Sunhat
Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat
best affordable sunhat
Columbia Bora Bora II Booney
Smartwool Sun Hat
Best Materials
Nocs Provisions Interesting Bird Twill Bucket Hat
Best Size Adjustment
Topo Designs Sun Hat
Most Stylish Sunhat
Roark Tamaroa Bucket Hat
Quiksilver Bushmaster Safari Boonie Hat
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Best Mesh Sunhat
Overland Gulf Crushable Mesh Western Breezer Hat
Most Unique Style
Autumn Headwear Bell Bucket Hat
Best High-Tech Sun Cap
Melin Pace Adventure Hydro
Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap
Blubandoo Floppy Bucket Hat
Billabong Classic Straw Lifeguard Sun Hat
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